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Skyhawks beat Jesuit to go 2-0 in the Metro

Hanson-Holtry and Ramsey both win twice for Southridge in its 103-67 win over Jesuit
by: Miles Vance IN THE SWIM — Southridge senior Nathan Hanson-Holtry left the rest of the field behind to win the 200-yard individual medley against Jesuit on Dec. 8 at Aloha Swim Center.

ALOHA - It may have only been an early-season match-up, but last week's Southridge-Jesuit boys swim meet had a lot attached to it.

A battle between two of the league's perennially competitive teams. The chance to jump to the head of the early Metro League standings. And questions aplenty as both teams swam without several of their front-line regulars.

In the end, it was the Skyhawks who answered most of the questions in the affirmative, knocking off the Crusaders 103-67 at Aloha Swim Center on Dec. 8. The win lifted Southridge's Metro record to 2-0 and kept the Skyhawks in sole possession of first place, while Jesuit fell to 0-1 and a tie for fourth.

And despite manpower shortages on both teams - several swimmers were away at the Junior National and Paul Bergen International meets - both teams enjoyed the competition.

Those meets 'definitely took some people away, but I still know a lot of people here in the pool today,' said Southridge senior captain Nathan Hanson-Holtry, winner of both the 200-yard individual medley and the 500 freestyle. 'It is a fun meet regardless of how fast we swim.'

'It was definitely nice to help the team out with the international meet going on at Tualatin Hills,' added Jesuit junior Marcus Imponenti, who won both the 50 and 100 freestyle races. 'Especially since we're missing three of our club swimmers from the team right now.'

The Skyhawks built their victory by winning six of the day's 11 events, taking second in eight others and third in seven more. Hanson-Holtry was at the lead in three of those wins, taking the 200 IM at 2 minutes, 7.58 seconds (with Jesuit's Richard Butler second at 2:17.64), topping the 500 free with a time of 5:04.39 (with Jesuit's Matthew Piercy second at 5:22.01), and also swimming the lead leg on his team's winning 400 freestyle relay.

On that last relay, Hanson-Holtry teamed with Jake Ramsey, Blake Hokkanen and Kyle Blandin to finish in 3:31.33.

'I'm very happy,' Hanson-Holtry said of his 200 IM. 'It was slower than my best time last year, but to start out my season, I was very happy with it.'

Other Southridge winners against Jesuit included Ramsey, who took both the 100 butterfly at 57.46 (with teammate Cody Blandin second at 59.75) and the 100 backstroke at 1:02.28 (with Jesuit's Kyle Hodge next at 1:02.54), and the 200 free relay team of Matt Braun, Hokkanen, David Stiling and Cody Blandin, who took first at 1:38.27.

And once they get juniors Max Yakubovich and Kyle Dalrymple back in the lineup, the Skyhawks feel they have a chance to make 2011-12 a very good season indeed.

'We've been the second and fourth at state the last two years, so if we can get anything close to that, it will be gravy,' Hanson-Holtry said.

For Jesuit, Imponenti - a junior - led the way with two individual wins, setting the pace in the 50 free with a winning time of 23.64 (Southridge's Kyle Blandin was second at 23.95) and again in the 100 free at 51.41 (with Blandin second again at 55.14).

'I'm pretty happy. I would have liked to have swum better but it's pretty good this time of the season,' Imponenti said after the 50 freestyle. 'I slipped a little bit on the turn but other than that it was all right. It was a pretty clean race besides that.'

Imponenti also swam the third leg of Jesuit's winning 200 medley relay, teaming with Joshua Braunstein, Butler and Mark Fleckenstein for a 1:48.64.

Other winners for Jesuit incluided: Piercy in the 200 free at 1:57.67 (with Southridge's Vince Palladino second at 2:02.85); and Butler in the 100 breaststroke at 1:06.93 (with Cody Blandin second at 1:15.07).

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.